Gilad Ratman 
Four Works

TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art

June 1, 2015

June 14–August 28, 2015

Press preview: Thursday, June 11, 2pm
Vernissage:Saturday, June 13, 6pm
Artist talk:Sunday, June 14, 2pm

TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art
4 Świętego Ducha St 
70-205 Szczecin 

+48 91 400 00 49
mail [​at​]

Since representing Israel with the five-channel video installation The Workshop at the 55th Venice Biennale, Gilad Ratman (b. 1975, Haifa) has established himself as one of the leading international contemporary video artists. His exhibition in TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art will consist of four large video installations spanning six years of creation: 588 Project (2009), Multipillory (2010), Five Bands from Romania (2015) and Swarm (2015).

More than an exhibition of four separate and self-contained works, the scale and simultaneity of the works installed over four floors of TRAFO will create a single installation reflecting physical and topographical layers within the exhibition. 

In Five Bands from Romania, Ratman invited heavy metal bands to bury their amplifiers in a deserted field and play a single piece of music together. The work is experienced by the viewer in two different dimensions: a fairly silent open space, and a full descriptive sound inside a sound-room whose sculptural presence dominates the floor. The project explores the culture of heavy metal and its role in reflecting the political changes in Eastern Europe at the beginning of the ’90s in its creation of a feedback system that addresses issues of compression, identity and territory as well as notions of community forming. 

Similar issues in the relation of nature and human connectivity are present in the two-channel installation 588 Project. The work, in which unidentified submerged heads seem to float in an existential pool of mud, was based on a long research Ratman did on yet another subculture—that of “mud submersion fetishism.”

While the fetish of submission feeds off of the participant’s free will, the submission of free will is the subject of the 2010 work Multipillory. Based on the pillory, a classical medieval torture instrument, the installation consists of a complex structure and video which combines cruelty and humiliation with the humour of absurdity. The participants, trapped in the structure, are doomed to remain as a collective image in the world.

The exhibition in TRAFO will also premier Ratman’s most recent work, the multi-channel video installation Swarm. A pack of microdrones circulate inside a deserted white Styrofoam structure whose soundless environment is dominated by their non-stop electric buzz. As the structure containing them begins to fall apart, the drone operators appear in glimpses, revealing the system and the scale of the work. Adapted specially for TRAFO’s basement, Swarm explores ideas of swarm behavior, individuality and control.

The exhibition will be curated by Sergio Edelsztein, Director and Chief Curator of the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv.

Gilad Ratman studied at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design (BFA), Jerusalem, and Columbia University (MFA), New York.

Solo exhibitions have included the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2015) MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014); Israeli Pavilion Venice Biennale, Venice (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2011); Ferenbalm-Gurb Station, Karlsruhe (2011); Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv (2010); and the Haifa Museum of Art (2009).

Group exhibitions have included Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2012); Herzliya Contemporary Art Biennial, Herzliya (2011); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2011); The Garage Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2010); Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, (2010); MoMA PS1, New York (2010); and the Dallas Contemporary Art Center (2010)

TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art is a public cultural institution located in a historic electrical transformer station in Szczecin, Poland. Due to the unique structure of the building and through its concentration on site-specific work, TRAFO focuses on producing exhibitions with an emphasis on issues of identity and transformation within the modern sphere of contemporary art. 

Exhibition and project work is further supported by TRAFO’s activity as a publishing house, through its own art-specific bookstore, and a comprehensive educational program. 

Press contact
PR-Netzwerk, Annette Schäfer: presse [​at​] / T +49 (0) 30 61 65 11 55